# 62: Lay Off's

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“We shall not, we shall not be moved” is the refrain that rang out from the teachers, paraprofessionals, nurses, SLPs, psychologists, and related service personnel that crowded into the auditorium and hallways of the Board Meeting on Tuesday, April 20. This show of unity for one another and the for the children of Cleveland Schools was covered not only by our local news stations, radio, and the Plain Dealer, but picked up by the Nightly News with Brian Williams, MSNBC, CNN, the Rachel Maddow Show, and the Today Show. 
In the end I wish that I could say that it was a shock that the Board of Education rubber stamped another arbitrary directive of the leadership of CMSD, but that is not the case. It is sad that a District that advertises the boldest transformation plan in the education of Cleveland’s children has chosen this path and imposed an arbitrary and unrealistic timeline for resolving the budget crisis. Everyone has been aware that this problem was looming since June 30, 2009. And after delaying, stalling, and changing lawyers, on the way to negotiations the District has nerve to blame the Collective Bargaining Agreement for this. The reality is that there is no contract provision that mandates any specific date for layoffs and that this District has not sincerely looked into all measures that could save jobs. It is shameful that this District and the Board of Education is playing games with peoples lives – the lives of hundreds of teachers and paraprofessionals and the lives of thousands of Cleveland children who will be in drastically overcrowded classrooms next school year.
Despite the fact that we are working with a District that talks of Transformation out of one side of their mouth and talks of destruction out of the other side of their mouth – the CTU will step up again with real solutions to the problems that this district faces. On Monday the Cleveland Teachers Union will join with state, local, and community leaders to once again pledge our commitment to public education and the children of Cleveland Schools. On Tuesday the Cleveland Teachers Union will present a comprehensive proposal to the District negotiating team – one that is good for kids and fair to teachers. Let us continue to be united – nothing can stop us when we stand together.
In Union,
P.S. If you have not already seen, the CTU website has FAQs regarding lay-offs. The CTU is working with the District to plan a series of Lay-Off Support meetings that will address unemployment compensation, payroll, health benefits, and other pertinent information.